Woodpigeons: licence to kill or take them to prevent serious damage to crops (GL31)

Get a general licence to kill or take woodpigeons, or take, damage or destroy their nests and eggs to prevent serious damage to crops.


Licence to kill or take woodpigeons to prevent serious damage to crops (GL31)

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


You can use this general licence if you grow crops on a sufficient scale to have financial value, or you act on behalf of a grower.

To prevent serious damage to crops, this licence allows you to:

  • kill or take woodpigeons
  • take, damage or destroy woodpigeon nests and eggs

You must use permitted methods of control stated on the licence and comply with its other terms and conditions.

When you must apply for an individual licence

You must apply to Natural England for an individual licence if you need to carry out activities that are:

  • not permitted by this licence
  • on or near sites that are protected for birds

To find sites protected for birds, click on the MAGIC interactive map. The orange and purple hatched areas show where you must apply for an individual licence.

To zoom in for more detail:

  • click on the ‘+’ symbol below the on-screen compass
  • drag the map to your location using the mouse or trackpad
Published 3 May 2019
Last updated 13 May 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated information on how to find areas protected for birds.
  2. First published.